This blog is officially "retired," but my other blog,
"The Lair of the Silver Fox," is still open for business!

Monday, April 28, 2008

Time Scurries On

"Gimme cookie, damnit!"

One of the online newspapers I subscribe to via email is the British Reading a British newspaper gives me an idea of how another country -- a similar country, one which doesn't (yet) hate us, and one which more or less speaks the same language -- views the USA. Sometimes I even learn about things going on in the USA before I read about it in an American paper.

Plus, I'm entertained by their obituaries. They're generally dedicated to 1. World War II heroes, 2. lords or ladies with hyphenated names, or 3. American celebrities. But I digress.

Anyway, a day or so ago, my eyes were immediately drawn to the headline of an article entitled, "Mutant threatening to wipe out grey squirrel."

(Clicking that link will open a new window -- or tab -- featuring the article itself. I'll be using only the briefest of quotes, to stay beneath the umbrella of "fair use." I actually contacted the to obtain permission to reprint extensive quotes, because I love you that much, dear readers! However, they would have charged me to do that. And frankly, I don't love you that much!)

My first thought was that they'd announced another sequel in the X-Men movie franchise, and that the plot was conceived by some moronic studio exec during the recent writers' strike. But no.

The article begins by telling us that the grey squirrel -- and I know that in the USA, "gray" is preferable to "grey," but I like using "grey," so freakin' deal with it -- is being supplanted in various areas of Britain by its "faster, fitter, and more aggressive black counterpart." The grey squirrels were themselves "introduced" to Britain more than 200 years back, and began "forcing out" the native red squirrels.

Well, I think some of us have already figured out what's really going on here, haven't we?

As always, we humans are projecting our prejudices onto these poor furry tree rats. Suddenly, a minority population is increasing, endangering the status quo. "They" are taking over. The humans are pissed, and as for the squirrels themselves?

They probably don't care too much.

But, you wanna know something? If I didn't know better, I'd say that this whole squirrel business was going on here, in the United States. I almost wondered if this was an actual news article, or an allegory dreamed up by a British novelist.

Look at what we have here. The minorities are beginning to outnumber the greys, or "grays." (And in this country, "gray" is right up there with "honky" and "cracker" as an ethnic slur against white people.) And these "greys" had originally taken the land from the "reds?" History does indeed repeat itself, dunnit?

(Okay, let me check again. Yup. This is going on in Great Britain, not North America.)

These uppity black squirrels first showed their dark & furry faces in Britain less than 100 years ago, but now comprise "half of all squirrels in some parts of the country" (emphasis mine), a confusing percentage, at best.

Yup, they're "taking over." Pretty soon all of our -- I mean, Britain's -- squirrel signage will have to be written in red, grey, and black squirrelspeak.

These black squirrels evidently have higher levels of testosterone, too, which makes them more aggressive and "territorial." Furthermore, the always fashion-conscious female grey squirrels are apparently lured toward the blacks' pigmentation. That makes me think of the looks I see on some people's faces as they pass interracial couples on the street. Some white-bread blonde babe -- and yeah, I prefer the word "blonde" with the final "e," too -- walks by on the arm of an African-American or a Latino, and there's usually some whitey nearby who is giving them a dirty look without even realizing that he or she is doing it.

Geneticists warn that the ever-expanding black squirrel population will probably "overrun most of the eastern counties" within ten or so years. And, horror of horrors, they're genetically able to interbreed with the greys, which would result in fuzzy little black or brown babies!

Blacks and browns? Oh, no! Miscegenation!

And not only that, but the blacks' impending takeover could further impact the dwindling population of red squirrels. One scientist was quoted as saying, "The small pockets of red squirrels that still exist already have to be protected because of the grey's dominance."

(Pockets? Or reservations? Hmm?)

Lindsey Maguire of the National Squirrel Rescue team -- and yes, Virginia, there apparently is a National Squirrel Rescue team -- says that the greys may eventually "get their 'just desserts' [sic]," no doubt meaning that it would serve us right after what we did to the Native Americans.

Wait, wait, wait! Scratch that last crack. I'm thinking of the United States again.

Ms. Maguire also wonders "how long it will be before we see a 'save the grey' campaign," as well she should.

I can see it now. Disgruntled groups of humans and grey squirrels, racists all, uniting to form a society of sorts. And they can come up with some sort of freakin' handbook simply by rewriting some White Supremacist literature.

Well, all I can say is... Nuts to you, you bigots!

Thanks for your time.


  1. The black squirrels are still angry for 400 years of slavery and demand restitution from the gray squirrels. They want their 40 trees and 40 acorns.

  2. I think the story was just about squirrels.

    You probably think there is deep meaning Fred Basset.

  3. Redbeard: Glad to see someone other than myself can read between the lines!

    IANO: Fred Bassett? Don't be silly. Heathcliff, on the other hand...

    And I can't wait until Cousin Saul gets a look at this one.

  4. On second thought, maybe it was just about squirrels.


  5. Fred Basset?! Freakin' Fred Basset?! Really?! Fred Basset?!

  6. shwerills...hic...shwerills?...hic...I'm goin' to the pub me lady...hic

  7. When do the red squirrels get to open casinos in England?

  8. I bet the black squirrels are more juicy.

  9. This is quite a tail....I mean, err, tale. I'm suddenly feeling a little squirrelly.


    Okay, I got nuttin'...I'll try again later, I'm just a shell of myself right now, if you can beleaf it. I'm stumped for a clever comment and having to resort to hare-brained tree and animal punnery. I'm burying myself, here! I'd better stop.

    (Contrary to how this looks...I'm not on The Weed or doin' grass, either.)

  10. This is brilliant, David'z Rantz. Very funny and well-written (as always).

    For the record:
    1) IRL (as the kids say), I have had enough of what are euphemistically known as "Squirrel Sprinkles"* to long for a super race of robosquirrels to come along and wreak havoc. Except then, of course, they'd end up "taking all our jobs."
    2) I like grey and blonde, too.
    3) Do you think the members of the National Squirrel Rescue Team wear super hero squirrel saviour (UK spelling) outfits? If so, I'm really hoping they involve bushy tails.

  11. *"Squirrel sprinkles" ain't sprinkles, David'z Rantz, and they ain't goin' anywhere near my ice cream cone.

  12. Bacon Ace: Squirrelwoods instead of Foxwoods? Makes perfect sense to me.

    Cake: Never take rugs after you've already tried (and failed) at flushing them.

    Jayne: Juicier, yes. And they say that their tails are longer.

  13. Sparkle:

    Finally, comments from the Squirrel Whisperer herself!

    For obvious reasons, when I saw the original news article, I thought of you. So instead of finishing any of the three other blog posts I have in "draft" form, I banged this one out instead. Glad you liked it.

    Anxiously awaiting the return of the black & white "glamor" shot of you to your profile. Mr. Lane (Mr. Kent? Mr. Stewart?) isn't the only one who's crushin' on you. Cutie-pie.

  14. Sparkle: Almost forgot...

    1. I kinda figured what "squirrel sprinkles" were.

    2. You like grey and blonde what? Ohhhhhh, you mean the alternate spellings. Well, of course you do. Anybody who's truly cool would prefer those spellings, I reckon!

    3. "Do you think the members of the National Squirrel Rescue Team wear super hero squirrel saviour (UK spelling) outfits? If so, I'm really hoping they involve bushy tails."

    And ears. Cute little furry ears.

    And how would you pronounce N.S.R.T.? "Insert," I suppose?

  15. Hey, does anybody else have a problem with the comments section's "publish your comment" button and the "publish this comment" link? I almost always have to click on either at least twice before my comment gets saved.

  16. I have a problem with blog topics today...publishing comments, not so much.

    Maybe those links just work better in Canada?

  17. What is a narc? Please, thank you.

  18. Jayne: "Narc" is a slang expression for narcotics officer. It's kind of archaic; it was really popular in the USA during the 1960s. Anyway, a joke started in the comments section of one blog or another that I'm a narc, and have been closely watching Cake (among others), who may or may not be using various "rugs." The "rug" thing was a typo when Cake was writing "drugs," IIRC. Expect to see various references to all of that until we've all sufficiently beaten the subject to death with a stick.

  19. "Expect to see various references to all of that until we've all sufficiently beaten the subject to death with a stick."

    And longer!

    I think everyone reading this should go over and abuse the anonymous whiny poster on IANO. I can't tell if the comment is for real but what the hey!

  20. Hahaha The sad part is, I read this and I do NOT think you are over-thinking the situation. I actually see the irony. Kind of...scary. lol


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